Fla. hospital unveils neonatal and pediatric ambulances, helicopter

The new units are equipped with technology like an infant incubator and ventilator and whole body cooling therapy to better care for critically ill newborns and children


By Shelby DeSoto
The Walton Sun

SANTA ROSA BEACH, Fla. — Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast unveiled their latest additions during the Blessing of the Fleet Jan. 30, outside the Family Birth Place.

“We are fortunate to have this life saving equipment,” said SHHEC President Roger Hall during the blessing celebration.

Image The Children''s Hospital at Sacred Heart Facebook

Hall also mentioned that the hospital had its 12th anniversary Jan. 27, and said that with this new addition of the fleet, they hope to “continue this great journey, and make a difference.”

He added that the emergency transport units will help expand their region by reaching more children and families.

The Neonatal Critical Care Transport Unit is equipped with life-saving technology, such as an infant incubator for infants as well as a ventilator.

Dr. Tony Hampton said the unit also provides whole body cooling therapy to help save infant brain tissue. He added the transport units will make the Neonatal and Pediatric Critical Care teams more efficient, stating “the sooner we can get there the better.”

The Pediatric Critical Care Unit will also have life-saving equipment and pediatric trained staff on board for children needing emergency care.

Angie Finkel is part of the AirHeart Air Ambulance team and said the new helicopter is more like a “flying emergency room.” She went on to say the air ambulance can transport both adults and critically ill newborns.

Hall told the crowd of about two dozen that it takes “care and passion to make a difference,” while thanking both teams for their hard work.

“They aren’t here because it’s a job, they are here to make a difference,” he said. “What a fleet and what a community we have here.”

Vice President of Mission Integration at SHHS Michael Adamson provided an opening prayer for the fleet, and Sacred Heart Foundation President Carol Carlan introduced donors of the fleet.

Donations were made by the following: Walmart/Sam’s Club, the Destin Charity Wine Auction and the Caduceus Society of the Emerald Coast, an organization of physicians based at SHHEC in Miramar Beach.

Dr. Robert Patterson, Medical Director of the Children’s Hospital at Sacred Heart in Pensacola, made a few closing remarks, saying “none of this would be possible without people wanting to help kids,” adding that these units will “further our commitment to help children.”

Manager of Mission Integration Jeff Ryan concluded the event with a final “Blessing of the Fleet and Crew” with a word of prayer.

To learn more about Sacred Heart Health System, visit www.sacred-heart.org.

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©2015 The Walton Sun (Santa Rosa Beach, Fla.)

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